BCC Staff Note: You’re reading the fifth in a multi-part BCC Grace & Truth blog series on Biblical Counseling Education and Equipping. These posts are written by leading biblical counseling equippers/educators. In today’s post, Rob Green and Kirk Fatool of Faith Bible Seminary share about A Practical MABC from Faith Bible Seminary.
Have you ever wanted to pursue a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling and there just seemed to be too many roadblocks in the way? Cost? Distance? Flexibility? Practicality?
We understand those challenges. As a result, we developed a program that addresses each of those areas in a way that we hope is both honoring to the Lord and helpful to students. Before we get too far, we want to acknowledge the fact that there are many great MA programs around the country. There are schools, faculty members, and administrations who care deeply about training people who can counsel wisely and winsomely from the Scriptures. So, we are not alone. Having said this, here is how we have attempted to make an MABC doable for those who believe God would be pleased by their pursuit of additional training.
Faith Bible Seminary began in 2007 and operates in the larger Faith Church facilities in Lafayette, Indiana. Our physical resources, like brick and mortar, are shared among many ministries and have the privilege of reaping the benefits of an economy of scale. In addition, members at Faith Church believed that the seminary education mission was so important that pastoral staff time is dedicated to its growth and stability. These facts allow FBS to offer the MABC at a very affordable rate.
Many of our staff members have personal experience with moving their families in order to pursue education. They understand how stressful on everyone such an endeavor might be. Therefore, FBS’ program was designed for the distance student. Our typical student is a pastor or missionary who entered ministry only to discover that his personal ministry/counseling skills were not even close to his exegetical ones, or it is a person who the church has tasked with leading the counseling ministry in their church, or it is a mother whose children are grown or near-grown and she has additional time that she would like to dedicate to counseling and discipleship in the church. These folks cannot move. There must be a way for them to receive training without completely dismantling their lives.
Our solution is twelve courses of three credits each where two classes are a guided independent study format, five classes are delivered through a distance education learning system that is fully accessible in their own home, and five one-week module classes delivered in Lafayette, Indiana. Thus, a grand total of 5 weeks is spent in Lafayette.
FBS is testing the viability of a cohort system in Phoenix, Arizona in partnership with the Biblical Counseling Training Center of Arizona and Harvest Bible Chapel in North Phoenix. Our first Phoenix class begins in November. It is our intention to deliver the 5 module courses in Phoenix allowing for students in Phoenix to complete the program without ever leaving town. Please email the seminary registrar, Kirk Fatool if you are interested in more information about becoming an extension site.
In addition to the flexibility already discussed, FBS offers all 12 classes each academic year (assuming student enrollment, which remains strong) allowing students to complete the program in as little as two years or as many as six.
The MABC at FBS also gives you an incredibly practical degree for these reasons:
- Faith is, first and foremost, a church. We are a church that has been doing counseling for a long time and continue to offer counseling to our community. Thus, all our classes are taught based on counseling experience.
- Faith partners with fantastic teachers, who counsel, from around the country. Our ministry partners include Kevin Carson (Baptist Bible College, Springfield MO), Stuart Scott (Southern Seminary), Bob Kellemen (Executive Director of BCC), Garrett Higbee (Pastor of Soul Care, Harvest Bible Chapel), and Robert Jones (Southeastern Seminary).
Several of our staff serve on the board or council board of organizations like the BCC and ACBC. In addition, we are able to accept credits from CCEF or other institutions of education. Since we are an ACBC certified training center many students pursue certification and it is even possible that the counseling done for FBS will receive credit toward the ACBC supervised hours.
If you have any questions or you are interested in more information about the MABC program at Faith Bible Seminary please call 765.448.1986, search for us on the web at faithlafayette.org/MABC, or email our registrar Kirk Fatool.
Join the Conversation
When you are looking for a place to be trained in biblical counseling, what factors are most important to you?